Nearly everyone with the technological capacity uses some form of social media. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn can be used to keep in touch with former co-workers, discuss life events with friends or seek new employment opportunities. Many people essentially live their lives online, however, posting comments, pictures or videos from their daily life. These people, unfortunately, can cause themselves trouble without even realizing it.
Receiving workers’ compensation benefits after a work accident can be a complex, lengthy process. There are claims, a review process and, depending on how the claim proceeds, several layers of appeals. During this time, both sides will be seeking to uncover evidence that either strengthens their own case or weakens the opposing case – or both.
Anecdotal stories abound, including:
- A man with an injured shoulder posts a video of himself on a rock-climbing vacation.
- A woman with a neck injury posts pictures of herself at a “happy hour” with friends and she is not wearing her doctor-recommended neckbrace.
- A man posts vague references to fooling his supervisors that morning.
Certainly, this isn’t intended to insinuate that all those involved in workers’ compensation claims are frauds. Generally, there is a straightforward explanation to even the most complex matter. In the above example, perhaps the man had prepaid for the vacation and was in excruciating pain the entire time. The point is that he hurt his case by posting those pictures.
It is wise to remain silent on social media regarding anything that might involve a challenging, legal process. Just because your employer cannot forbid you from posting on social media doesn’t mean you should post about sensitive subjects.